I know many of you who have been reading my newsletters all these years connected with my work because you saw Feathers On The Breath of God either at the Nomad Theater In Boulder in 2011 or at the Bas Bleu Theater in Fort Collins in 2013. I often marvel at how the Divine works in my life….
When I began my doctoral studies in 1998 I was planning on creating a curriculum on St. Hildegard of Bingen as my dissertation. In my final class during meditation I received the clear guidance that instead of the curriculum for my dissertation, I was to put my healing journey as it had been inspired by St. Hildegard on a stage. In that moment the seed for Feathers On The Breath Of God was planted, and in 2011 I launched Feathers in Boulder, Colorado.
Now… 9 years after completing my doctoral studies… it is time for the curriculum and I am inviting you to join me as my student! From November 13th through November 17th I will be teaching two classes inspired by St. Hildegard at the Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality (FICS) in Boulder, Colorado.
Here are the two Course Descriptions:
Feather On The Breath Of God: The Beauty and Power of St. Hildegard of Bingen: This course begins with an immersion in St. Hildegard’sJourney through the Senses, an exhibit that shows the life and work of this powerful mystic. Students will also read and discuss the content of the very first biography written about St. Hildegard in the twelfth century. Students will then explore St. Hildegard’s theological writings and illuminations as well as her medical texts. Some of St. Hildegard’s remedies will be available for sampling. The class will then take a look at St. Hildegard’s relationship with her world and key people in her life. The class will conclude with an exploration of how students can use St. Hildegard as an inspiration in their own lives.
Viriditas: A course in Creativity inspired by St. Hildegard of Bingen: In this course we will use reading, music, guided imagery, St. Hildegard’s Illuminations and Healing Remedies as well as movement, to create a meditative connection with St. Hildegard and her life’s work. In this space of deep connection, students will access their deepest creative selves and from this space they will express their souls in a variety of artistic mediums: water color painting, drawing, singing, movement, journaling and finally constructing their own model buildings using a whole variety of materials (i.e. popsicle sticks, clay, feathers, paper, ornaments, miniature toys, to name just a few!) As the students share the creative process as well as their creations with each other during the week we will be forming a very intimate community of creative powerhouses!
In addition to offering certificates, masters and doctorate degrees, FICS welcomes students to audit courses for personal and professional growth. The Fox Institute for Spirituality offers a variety of auditing options for prospective students or for those looking to enhance their professional and personal lives through continuing education, even if there isn’t a commitment to pursue a degree. Click here to learn more.
To get a feel for the Fox Institute I invite you to attend the upcoming August Meet & Greet! David and I will be joining Matthew Fox in this webinar on August 19th. Join us! You can register by clicking the RSVP button below.
August Meet & Greet: The Mystics and Art-as-Meditation Rev. Matthew Fox, Dr. Jeannine Goode-Allen and Rev. Dr. David Sharp Saturday, August 19th, 1:30-3:30 PM MDT
Join us on-line this month as faculty members Rev. Matthew Fox, Dr. Jeannine Goode-Allen and Rev. Dr. David Sharp explore the Mystics and our art-as-meditation component.
Join renowned teacher, author, and mystic Matthew Fox, along with FICS faculty, Dr. Jeannine Goode-Allen and Rev. Dr. David Sharp, who, in addition to being graduates of the former UCS (where they met and then married), are spiritual teachers, actors, writers, singers and tap dancers! We will explore the topic of mystics as well as our unique coursework, Art-as-Meditation. We will also update the latest developments at FICS and give registration information.
Register NOW by clicking on the RSVP button below to receive your complimentary ticket to our community Meet & Greet webinar. You will receive directions about how to connect via computer or phone. We look forward to being with you and sharing a love for Creation and the unfolding story of Fox Institute for Creation Spirituality.
Feel free to call me at 720 308 6782 if you have any questions you would like to discuss with me directly about FICS or the classes I will be teaching. If you have often thought, wow, I would love to spend a week with Jeannine and really get to know St. Hildegard, this is your opportunity to do so!
Immerse yourself in Viriditas this coming November! Become a Feather On The Breath of God yourself!
This month I am sending out a special invitation. As most of you know, I have been playing the marimba for five years now. It is a source of powerful joy for me and I want to share that joy with YOU. This coming Saturday Titandare, the band I play with, will be participating in ….. drum roll…. AMARIMBA JAM!
If you have yet to experience the marimba, you do not want to miss this. One of my band members, Greg Amorese, has created a dynamic, gorgeous and HUGE performance venue inside his own home! I kid you not, there is a performance space dedicated to the marimba smack in the middle of Boulder. Greg has a huge heart and has a vision to bring people together with the music of the marimba. This particular marimba jam is going to be especially powerful because one of the greatest ensembles in the country, Shamwari Tamba, will be playing.
Many of the members of this band grew up in Boulder and started playing the marimba when they were youngsters. Most of them have left Boulder to go off to college. This summer many of the former members of the band are back in Boulder and are coming together again for this event. To experience them playing is a treat not to be missed. Every time I experience Shamwari Tamba playing, they sweep me off my feet. Awe-inspiring, I tell you! Click hereto see and hear what I mean.
Here are the details:
Host: Nola Fanestil and Greg Amorese When: Saturday, July 15 from 6:00 PM to 10:30 PM Where: 825 Grape Avenue, Boulder, CO
Greg’s home is a delight to be in. His hospitality makes you feel welcome the moment you walk through the door! David and I were invited to his Thanksgiving Celebration last year. To see Greg and his friends whip up the most elaborate Thanksgiving dinner for about forty people inspired me to want to reach out and create more gatherings in my home for friends and family. He is going to have a pizza oven going as well as outdoor volleyball. Fun, fun, FUN!!!!
This Saturday’s jam is also going to be a fundraiser for Ancient Ways, an organization which vibrates with an uncommon passion for life. Ancient Ways provides services in two separate areas of Zimbabwe. Their current focus is on preschool children, maturing girls and the constructions of wells. Click here for more information.
Please contact me as soon as possible if you are planning on coming so I can let Greg know.
Titandare! (Let’s get together and have a great time!)
“The redwoods, once seen, leave a mark or create a vision that stays with you always. No one has ever successfully painted or photographed a redwood tree. The feeling they produce is not transferable. From them comes silence and awe. It’s not only their unbelievable stature, nor the color which seems to shift and vary under your eyes, no, they are not like any trees we know, they are ambassadors from another time.” -John Steinbeck
Do you have a vision of something you want to create? Is it a vision that you know is going to take all the love you can give, every day of your life, for as long as you live…??? My sister-in-law Coni has such a vision. Her vision is to have redwood trees growing in her garden in Maur, Switzerland. I have been visiting with my sister-in-law in recent weeks and took these photographs of her redwoods.
One of the trees is now seven feet tall and firmly established in her garden. The others are tiny and still live in a flower pot outside her kitchen. I marvel as I see her love for these plants in action. In the flower pots where the tiny trees are growing are shells and rocks she brought back from the Pacific coast. She tells me that this way, the baby trees will feel more at home in the flower pot. She talks to her plants, making sure they have enough moisture. As my brother says, “These plants are her pride and joy.” To watch a moving short film showing the majesty and power of the trees that have captured my sister-in-law’s heart click here.
I am deeply inspired by Coni and “her redwood project” and have been considering the projects that Viriditas Productions is involved in and how yes… they require love, dedication and faith.
One of our projects, Tap Into Transformation, is now firmly established, much like Coni’s little seven foot tall tree. In November of this year we will be launching our 6th year of this community tap dancing event! On May 19th we created a choreography to one of my favorite songs of all time: “Here Come The Sun”…yes, you guessed it, we danced to a Beatles Tune. Here is a photograph of our dancers with David from that night. Yours truly climbed up on a bar stool to take the shot. We had two participants who drove all the way down from Greeley, Colorado. I promptly named them the Greeley Goddesses! Our delicious dinner was catered by our neighboring Mexican restaurant Wapos, and for those who are wondering, we did serve margaritas…smile. Our next Tap Into Transformation will be on Friday, June 23rd, and our theme is “Calling All Angels”. I especially encourage all of you who are feeling defeated by the turbulent times we live in to attend. Check out these powerful lyrics we will be dancing to:
“I need a sign to let me know you’re here ‘Cause my TV set just keeps it all from being clear I want a reason for the way things have to be I need a hand to help build up some kind of hope inside of me
And I’m calling all angels I’m calling all you angels…” (Train Music)
And to all of you who join me in a powerful connection to Archangel Michael…you are going to love the activity we will be doing in the second half of the evening! Be sure to come. Click here to purchase your ticket, today!
I consider my Doctor Of The Soul work to be much like Coni’s little trees in the flower pot. I launched this work in November of 2016, and on June 3rd we had our 8th group event: Healing With Mantra. In the Healing With Mantra events, I teach how to use mantra to help you reduce stress, enhance your emotional well being and optimize the flow of energy within your body. This month we invoked sacred energy through the channel of a mantra that invoked the Hindu God Krishna. Krishna is the god of compassion, tenderness and love. We connected this energy to our fourth chakra, the heart chakra, as we dislodged and released all negative energy associated with this chakra. During the session I invited the participants to write down the hurts they were feeling and wanting to release on an index card. After the session I did a ritual where I burned the cards and then released the ashes above the creek behind my house. Here is a photo of me releasing the ashes. The next Doctor of The Soul group session will be Healing With St. Hildegard on July 1st. I will be using St. Hildegard’s powerful song “O Frondens Virga” in our soul healing process. I am also available for private sessions. Click hereto find out more.
The part of the Viriditas work that is connected to the performing arts continues with my participation in the Kutandara Marimba Ensemble. In July I will be studying privately with Jesse Larson, one of the most powerful and skilled marimba players I know. She will be teaching me two new songs and helping me get ready to perform in the fall. Click here to enjoy Jesse playing “Moyo Wangu” (one of the songs I will be learning) with Kutandara. She is the marimba player in the brown shirt on the front marimba.
Finally, I want to describe the fine tuning that is happening in a part of the work that is still very much in the vision phase. As you know I have been asked to teach at the Fox Institute, a new graduate school that will be opening its doors this fall in Boulder. The opening dates needed to be pushed back to October due to some gorgeous renovations that are being undertaken to transform the buildings. I am now scheduled to teach two classes on St. Hildegard as well as two classes together with David: “Chanting The Wisdom Traditions” as well as “Introduction to Creation Spirituality”. I begin with The St. Hildegard Classes on November 13th. I have also been asked to join the academic leadership team of the school. I am in the midst of deep discernment regarding what exactly the vision is for my work with the Fox Institute. I trust clarity will come in the months ahead, and I will keep you posted.
I close with a request. What are the visions that are living in your heart? In what stages of development are they? I would love to hear about them. Please send me a message letting me into your world of visions! Let’s inspire each other.
I’m singing in the rain, just singing in the rain.
What a glorious feelin’, I’m happy again.
I’m laughing at clouds, so dark up above.
The sun’s in my heart, and I’m ready for love.
Let the stormy clouds chase, everyone from the place.
Come on with the rain, I’ve a smile on my face.
I walk down the lane, with a happy refrain
Just singin’, singin’ in the rain…”
These are some of the lyrics to the song “Singing In The Rain” which Gene Kelly made famous as he sang it while tap dancing in the pouring rain in the movie “Singing In The Rain” oh so many years ago. This scene has always been one of my constant companions. No matter what is going on in my life, I keep the focus on “the sun in my heart”. It is the energy of unconditional love which yes “keeps me dancing” even in the pouring rain. Whenever I feel the stormy clouds up above, I imagine being Gene Kelly and powerfully dancing away! And yes, we have had a lot of very rainy days here in Boulder recently. And in the midst of them Viriditas Productions has been “dancing away” sending forth waves of unconditional love.
Drum roll…… talk about expressing unconditional love…. The dates are now set for the opening of the Fox Institute in Boulder. The school will be housed in the First Congregational Church. The First Congregational Church has always been a big advocate of the arts here in Boulder. David and I actually tap danced there last year as part of the opening reception of the NoBo Art District’s Annual Group Show. Classes will begin on September 18th, and I will be teaching two classes on St. Hildegard of Bingen that week. Given that St. Hildegard’s feast day is September 17th, I have no doubt that our powerful friend is overseeing this entire venture! David and I will be participating in an informational Fox Institute Webinar on May 20th . We will be talking about two fundamental components of the Fox Institute Curriculum: The Mystics as well as Art As Meditation. Please contact me if you would like information on how to join the webinar.
Another vehicle for expressing unconditional love continues with Healing With St. Hildegard. We hosted our fourth session on May 6th at the Viriditas Studio. It was an especially heart warming event for me personally because my best friend in the world, Renate Lienhart, was visiting from Switzerland that week and attended the event. Renate and I have known each other for over 40 years. To have her present and experiencing this healing work made that “sun in my heart” shine even brighter. Our focus for the session was to connect to the healing and compassionate love of Mary, the Mother Of God, using St. Hildegard’s famous song: O Virga Ac Diadema. Mary’s love is so tender, sweet and comforting. For those of you who would like to experience a taste of the session, please become a member of the Free Healing Library on the Doctor Of The Soul website and enjoy the meditations that David and I have recorded. I will be posting a meditation from our most recent session next week.(Click here for the Free Healing Library.)
Finally here is the update on the tap dancing that has graced the Viriditas Studio. On April 21st David and I hosted Tap Into Transformation and taught the choreography to, YES!, Singing In The Rain. You should have seen the smile on my face when it started raining that night. After dinner, we created life size drawings of ourselves dancing in the rain… telling each other about those things in our lives that bring us joy. I always am amazed at the beautiful souls that show up for Tap Into Transformation. There is something about tap dancing that attracts such fun-loving people. I truly believe that Tap Into Transformation has become the best dinner party in Boulder, Colorado. If you haven’t yet given it a try…. GO FOR IT this coming week. We will be dancing to another one of my favorites: Here Comes The Sun by the Beatles. Another option for those of you who want to give tap dancing a try, is to come by the studio on the first Friday of the month. David and I are now regularly participating in the NoBo First Friday Open House Event. This past Friday night between 6-9 pm over twenty people came by the studio and we had so much fun dancing with them. It’s free, and I guarantee you will leave the studio smiling and even feeling a bit like Gene Kelly!
As I look at the weather forecast it seems that going forward here in Boulder, the Sun is coming to grace our lives. I look forward to the rest of May and potting many beautiful flowers for my garden. On June 5th, I leave with my fifteen year old son on our annual mother-son odyssey. Like last year we will be going to New York City, Switzerland and London, England. I will be writing my next newsletter while in Switzerland and yes I will be sharing some gorgeous photographs!
What does it mean to be Self-Confident? As I asked myself this question recently, the following song came to mind:
“This little light of mine, I’m gonna let it shine!”
And suddenly I remembered being at my youngest brother Michael’s wedding about ten years ago. My brother had asked me to sing the Ave Maria at his wedding. Oh my, was I a nervous wreck the day of the wedding, as I stood on the balcony of this gorgeous baroque church in central Switzerland and looked at the hundreds of people coming in down below. How could I possibly sing with all these people listening? And then this gospel choir that my brother had hired to sing at the wedding came on to the balcony and started singing… yes… you guessed it…THIS LITTLE LIGHT OF MINE! This was exactly what I needed to be singing to dispel the nervous energy and negative thoughts going through my head. And so I sang along with the glorious gospel singers and sure enough as I got up to sing the Ave Maria, I knew all I needed to do was let my light shine.
For me Self-Confidence is our ability to let our Divine Nature and Gifts shine out into the world. This “Light” is a powerfully loving and transformative light and we all have it! And this light has been shining forth from the “Land of Viriditas” big time this past month.
On March 18th the Kutandara Center hosted a concert to raise funds to purchase a set of marimbas for an orphanage in Zimbabwe. I was honored to be part of the concert. I am a member of the Kutandara Reperatory Ensemble and we opened the concert with six of our songs. Check out this video to see us playing Ndave Kuenda. (Click hereto watch the video.) We let our light shine that night, and the next day when I saw comments on my Facebook page coming all the way from Zimbabwe, I knew it had been an especially bright light that we sent forth that night!
The light being sent forth by our Tap Dancing Events is also growing in brightness. On March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day, we hosted our monthly Tap Into Transformation. There were ten of us dancing to some glorious boogie woogie music and enjoying a delicious meal catered by The Hungry Toad. After dinner we had a great time playing charades with words that embody power and speed. You should have seen my rendition of a rocket ship!
And then last Friday, April 7th, David and I participated in the monthly NoBo Art District’s First Friday open house. We had over 50 people stop by the studio and most of them dove right in and tried some tap dancing. We felt like we were at a delightful night club celebrating the joy and power of this glorious dance form. The word is getting out that some great fun can be had at the Viriditas Studio on the first Friday of the month between 6 and 9 pm. Tell your friends!!!
Self-Confidence was the theme of our third Healing With Mantra Event which happened on April 8th. I taught a mantra connected to the aspects of Divinity represented by the Hindu Deity Durga. David’s musical accompaniment made the experience of chanting this mantra especially powerful. I also added specific movements that we did as we chanted. Later this week I will be posting a recording of this mantra in the Free Healing Library on the doctorofthesoul website (doctorofthesoul.com) for those of you who missed the event and/or would like to chant along at home.
David and I are also very excited that we have been asked to become faculty at a new graduate school that will be opening its doors this coming September 18th here in Boulder Colorado. The school is called the Fox Institute and is a reinvention of the graduate school where David and I got our doctorates in Ministry: The University Of Creation Spirituality. (Click here to find out more about this amazing school. I will be teaching a course on St. Hildegard of Bingen and David will be teaching a course on Gandhi, Martin Luther King and Howard Thurman! We have also submitted proposals for five other classes which were accepted by the academic committee. I will keep you posted as the exact dates of our classes get finalized. The model of this education was created by the theologian Matthew Fox. My favorite part of the curriculum is called “Art As Meditation” and yes, one of the classes David and I will be teaching is “Tap Into Transformation”!
All right, my powerful friends, I once again am off to pack my bag. David and I are leaving for Keystone on Friday morning. They still have over 60 inches of snow up there, and oh my, is my Swiss Mountain Goat heart happy….I am going to let my Swiss light shine this coming weekend. Yo do lei di hoo!!!